Cory Booker Raises Drama of Kavanaugh Hearings

Democratic senator says he's willing to risk expulsion by releasing email
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2018 10:20 AM CDT
Cory Booker: I'm Breaking Senate Rules on Kavanaugh
Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, questions Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Day three of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing has opened with a bang: Democratic Sen. Cory Booker says he has ordered his staff to release a Kavanaugh email even though it's supposed to remain under wraps. It's not clear yet what the email says, but NBC News reports that it concerns racial profiling. Booker called his act one of civil disobedience, reports NPR. "I openly invite and accept the consequences," he said, per CNN. "The penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate." Indeed, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn read aloud rules stating that a senator who divulges "the secret or confidential business" of the Senate faces expulsion, reports the Washington Post. "Bring the charges," said Booker. "All of us are ready to face that rule," added fellow Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

Democrats have been chafing that too many of Kavanaugh's documents are either being withheld or deemed off limits for the hearing. Booker's stand comes after the New York Times obtained some of those off-limits emails. In one from 2003, when Kavanaugh was working in the White House of George W. Bush, he objects to language that Roe v. Wade is "settled law." He was going over a draft opinion stating that "it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land," but he took exception to the phrase. "I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so," he wrote at the time. As the Times notes, Kavanaugh didn't state his personal opinion on the matter. (Read more Brett Kavanaugh stories.)

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